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RESEARCH ARTICLE: Community Revitalization Through Areawide Brownfield Regeneration, Community Land Trusts, and Progressive Finance

  • Kris Wernstedt (a1) and Jennifer Hanson (a2)

Many successful residential and other redevelopments have appeared at individual brownfield sites, yet the larger transformation of mixed-use urban neighborhoods distressed with numerous smaller, less marketable contaminated sites remains elusive. In this article, we discuss the use of three innovative mechanisms to move beyond a single parcel's boundaries to address larger-scale regeneration of contaminated areas: areawide brownfield approaches, community land trusts, and progressive financing. In addition to their conceptual appeal, each of these mechanisms has a record of implementation. For instance, community land trusts have helped revitalize communities burdened with contamination and other stresses for the benefit of lower-income and moderate-income residents, most notably in the context of affordable housing. Areawide brownfield initiatives under way in several states and municipalities have helped decrease environmental assessment costs through economies of scale. And progressive finance, although not yet applied in a contaminated-land context, has shown success in revitalizing distressed urban cores.

Environmental Practice 11:134–143 (2009)

Corresponding author
Address correspondence to: Kris Wernstedt, Associate Professor, Urban Affairs and Planning, School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Tech, National Capital Region, Alexandria, VA 22314; (phone) 301-785-6725; (fax) 703-518-8009; (email)
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Environmental Practice
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